LIVE: Cool cats embrace new sound

MELBOURNE duo Gypsy and The Cat burst on to the scene in 2010 with their debut album Gilgamesh. But three years later the duo – Xavier Bacash and Lionel Towers – have embraced a new sound that has caught the attention of international markets.

LIVE caught up with Bacash ahead of the Future Music Festival tour, which hits Sydney on March 9.

The Late Blue was a shift from the ‘‘yacht rock’’ sound on Gilgamesh. Was that a conscious decision? What were your inspirations? It has a distinctly 1960s vibe.

It wasn’t exactly conscious, no. We have always been big fans of the era, and felt our musical taste had widened over the three years that Gilgamesh had been out.

In saying that too, we felt like the yacht rock thing was totally milked by new bands, which encouraged us even more so to go down the more vintage route.

Tell me about recording in rural Victoria.

It’s a harsh place. Beautiful but harsh and unforgiving. Those extremes married with the solitude helped conceptualise what we were doing in many ways.

When a song needed to be honest and emotional, it was easy to get to those feelings because of our surroundings.

At some points it was extremely cold up there, especially when we ran out of firewood because the chainsaw failed.

The album has been out for a while now. How have crowds received it?

In international markets, we are getting a lot of love over the record as we embark on releasing it there.

But it’s fair to say that the record has maybe been unfairly ignored by the bulk of our Australian fan base and the music media here. For whatever reason.

Bloom, especially, was picked up by US radio and alternative media. Are you planning to spend more time in the US?

Yeah, it feels like the US and the UK are the places to be  given the conversation going on over there about the music. It’s a fresh start for us there and we are not being judged on past works or sounds, which is a prejudice that we feel very much exists around this record in Australia, unfortunately.

What do you think it is about Bloom that struck a chord with people?

Well, it’s kind of nostalgic and melancholy.

And it’s about relationships with people as you haphazardly move through life, losing people, gaining people. All those things people just relate to, I guess.

Has your live set  changed from the first to the second album?

It has and it hasn’t. We are mainly just conscious of using older drum kits and interesting microphones to try and recapture the tapey vintage feel from the new record.

Do you have any rituals you follow before or after a live set?

Lionel needs to drink some form of hard liquor before a show, but the rest of the band just like some quiet time before the show.

Nothing fancy!

You’re playing the Future Music Festival: do you approach the show differently from an indoor show?

Yeah, we just try and keep it all up-tempo, because kids today get kind of impatient with the slower songs, especially at a festival like Future where you’re competing against two other dance stages while you’re playing. Other than that, Aussie crowds are great in general, and so we look forward to playing our new music to them.

Are you already thinking about the next album?

We are always thinking about new music, but for now we just want to focus on the release of this album as it’s only been out four months and there is lots of work to be done overseas because it’s not out there yet.

Gypsy and The Cat play at the Future Music Festival, Sydney, on March 9 alongside The Prodigy, The Stone Roses, Bloc Party, Dizzee Rascal and more. Visit futureentertainment.com.au.

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